The woman arrested in connection with the murder of British teacher Hilary Bower was involved in the legal battle over his HK$10 million property and wanted to marry him, The Telegraph has reported.

The 38-year-old woman, surnamed Xu, reportedly represented Bower in dealings with lawyers regarding his Shenzhen property, which he purchased in 2001 for HK$895,000. A few months after the sale, the 60-year-old Hong Kong Polytechnic University instructor became involved with Xu – around the same time that he met his girlfriend Ms Shi, the mother of his son.

Hilary Bower
Hilary Bower.

A missing persons report was filed by Bower’s girlfriend on March 30 after he was missing for eight days. The initial search for Bower was met with a lack of cooperation from local and mainland authorities, according to a colleague leading the search.

Hong Kong police were notified of Bower’s death last week. A police statement stated that Xu, along with a 28-year-old man surnamed Sun and a 23-year-old man surnamed Liu, were arrested in connection to Bower’s murder on April 8, three weeks after his disappearance was first reported.

Photo: Weibo screencap.

A lawyer in Shenzhen who dealt with Xu during the property dispute told The Telegraph that she was an ordinary woman who wanted to take care of the situation for Bower and marry him.

He also stated that he could not confirm whether the Xu he dealt with was the same woman who was arrested, but that Xu’s social media accounts had been dormant since March 27.

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung

Isaac Cheung is pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. During the Occupy Central protests, Isaac worked as an editor and reporter at LIVE: Verified Updates, a bilingual news page founded and maintained by HKU journalism students. He has also worked at Coconuts Hong Kong as a reporter.